Monday, 10 November 2014

Having A Pet Ferret | Tips

Today I thought it would be nice to finally write a short summary about what it looks like to have a ferret as a pet, and I'd also like to give some tips based on our experience. Of course, we just had our Maya for some months and she is still growing up, and we are still learning new things, but we already got to know a bit and that's what I'd like to share with you.

Of course, ferrets are kind of wild animals and it's quite uncommon to have one as a pet. We took Maya from the Scottish SPCA when she was about 8 weeks old. She wasn't too pretty to be honest, because her fur was scratchy and she had so little of it. But we just wanted to make her life nice and decided to take her home.
She was so tiny back then! Her body was so small, but her belly was so big and it looked so funny! She was also very fast and about 99% of the pictures we took of her over the first weeks are all blurry.

1) Young ferrets are really fast and shouldn't be left unattended in a room or even worse, outside the house in a garden for example. If you let your ferret out of the cage, make sure it won't crawl underneath furniture or whatsoever. Also, be careful with cables and such things. Maya however, never bit any cables or furniture. She started crawling underneath the bed when she was a bit older and at first I was really scared that she'd eat something or get stuck or something, but after a while she came out again and was fine. So now, we leave her run around in our room, but make sure there is no food on the floor or next to the bed and that the wardrobe is closed. We now know that she won't damage anything, but she likes to steal some things and hide them, so be careful with such sort of things too!

2) Ferrets do bite! When we first got her, we were even scared of even touching her because she'd bite everything really hard. And even though she was just a small fur ball, they have really strong jaws and I even read once that they can even break your finger when they bite you really, really hard. We also found out that once she bites us, she won't let go for a while and the bite is really painful, sometimes we were even bleeding and really angry. But with time your ferret understands how hard it can bite you when you are playing, and they learn to bite really hard when they want to defend themselves. So be careful, try to hold your ferret always around its neck, to make sure it won't turn its head and bite your hand, and with the other hand underneath the bum to support its spine. It takes some time to teach them not to bite. Maya still bites us sometimes when she wants to and you should tap her on the nose or bum when your pet does this, to show that this was a bad thing. We also put Maya back into the cage as a punishment, which means that playtime is over and she won't get our attention any more for bad behaviour.

3) You can wash your ferret. You shouldn't too often though as it can produce more of its own smell and it could get a bit smelly. Maya is absolutely fine, she doesn't stink so we don't wash her too often. We only do if she gets dirty from her food and her fur is sticky and smelling like cat food. At first she was also so terrified of water that she would get so shaky that it was hard to hold her still! By now she started swimming in the bath tub, and even diving, and it looks like she likes the baths now. We try to give her a bath only once a month, if needed. We also clip her nails quite often because they get really long and she will hang with them on jumpers and so on, which could end badly. We also make sure her ears are clean.

4) Ferrets poop and pee. This means that you should line a place in the cage with toilet paper or newspaper or something you can get rid of quickly. We use toilet paper just now because it is the easiest to keep the cage almost clean. We put a bit of toilet paper on one side of the cage and Maya poops and pees there. We throw out the paper with the smelly stuff every day. We just simply flush it in the toilet, which is really handy because the smell will be out of the house quickly. And also, there will always be some dirt on the floors, so we wash the cage once a week and also her blankets because they start to smell a bit after some time. Often we also find food hidden there.
She also spills water from her small bowl and then the whole cage floor is wet-including the blankets, so we finally found these training pads and line the floor with them, but somehow she uses it as another blanket and it never stays neatly on the floor, it is always somewhere in a corner and all damaged. But well.

5) Your ferret will be happy if you let it out for some minutes at least every day. Maya will usually wake up at about 6 or 7 in the morning, wanting to eat something or play. But we always just quickly give her some more food and go back to bed. She will eventually calm down and fall asleep again. Then I usually let her run around when I do my make-up before College and then we let her out again in the evening, where she gets totally crazy and funny. When she's asleep and sooo cute, we often take her to bed and cuddle with her for some time and then but her back to her cage, where she covers herself up with all the blankets, and looks like a human.

6) At the SPCA we got told that we should feed our ferret with cat food, like chicken in jelly, for as long as she is little. But we also bought her proper ferret crisps. We still buy her the cat food as she really seems to like it. But she always has the crisps in the cage, in case she gets hungry when we won't feed her the cat food. Once a week we also give her an egg yolk and sometimes she also gets a bit of a cucumber. 

And I think this is all what I can think of at the moment. I hope that our ferret has a happy life with us, and we surely will be learning lots of more useful things with time.




  1. Oh my goodness, she looks so precious. One of my friends talked about how ferrets would make good pets. It's a lovely thing you're doing taking care of her


    1. Aaww thank you very much! They surely are great pets,always make you laugh,but they really need a lot of care and attention! :)